Featured Artist John Chehak

John Chehak presents a delightfully colorful collection of contemporary paintings created in his distinctive signature style. Find more by visiting his website.


contemporary urban abstract by John Chehak

“City Sailing” acrylic, 23″ X 29″


I was born in 1950 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Right in the middle of the USA. Lots of landscapes. Rolling hills, big rivers, rural countryside, and farmland filled with corn.


contemporary painting of bird silhouettes

“Remember St. Louis” acrylic, 23″ X 30″


As a child, I was always interested in drawing, painting, and creating. However, I viewed art as a fun hobby but not as a future profession. In 1973 I received my college degree in Pharmacy. For many years I worked as a pharmacist and in other healthcare-related jobs.


contemporary painting aerial view of countryside

“On My Way Home” acrylic, 22″ X 29″


It wasn’t until 1998 that I felt an urgency to pick up a brush and create. Why? I don’t know.  I’m a self-taught artist and after experimenting with various paints, I chose water soluble acrylic paint on canvas and archival paper. Twenty-five years later, I’m still using the same tools.


contemporary painting of birds perched on a wire

“Nine on a Wire” acrylic,17″ X 33″


I like how fast acrylic dries, and because of that it can be layered on quickly and often. All my work gets a layer or two of Acrylic Clearcoat to bring out the vivid colors and protect the painting from sunlight and external dirt.


barren landscape, contemporary painting

“After the Fire” acrylic, 18″ X 24″


Alas, in the beginning my inventory increased rapidly, and I needed to find an outlet to see if anyone would buy my paintings. I applied to many summer art fairs within 250 miles of my home. That included Chicago and its suburbs, the St. Louis area, Minneapolis to the north, and west to Omaha.


fanciful painting of a countryside landscape

“Marshmallow Hallucination” acrylic, 23″ X 23″


To date my wife and I have traveled to more than 75 shows in more than 20 cities and have sold 600 original paintings. In short, traveling to shows, even a short distance and “do it right” can be expensive. All my work on paper is matted and framed, show entry fees range from $450 to $600 each show, you need a good quality tent and side walls on which you hang your work, and a carpet or flooring of some sort to really give a good first impression.


Contemporary painting of urban houses

“Urban Crowding” acrylic, 23″ X 23″


Do you rent or buy a cargo van for travel? Food and lodging expenses range from sleeping in your van to four-star hotels. And finally, the actual work: rent the van, pack the van, drive van to remote location within 4-5 hours, unpack the van, setup tent, hang artwork, go to the hotel. You must engage the public constantly through the sales days, repeat, take down tent, pack artwork, drive van home, unpack. Get ready for the next show.


contemporary painting of country fields

“Through the Country” acrylic, 23″ X 23″


I started all this when I was about 60 years old, and I have been doing it for 14 years. As I get older, I can’t help but slow down. Now I just do about three shows a summer. Yet, I literally can’t stop painting and I have begun to research other outlets for selling my work. I am very fortunate and thankful for friends I have met and the patrons that support me.



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  1. Love your striking work John

    • John Chehak says

      Thank you so much Julee. I looked at your work and found it to be 1. extraordinary 2. mesmerizing, 3, beautiful and 4. exhausted me even thinking about doing what you do. Wonderful work.


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